Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ten facts about wild felids

From Earth Unplugged we get ten facts about wild cats (actually, there are more than ten, since there are many sub-facts). As far as I know from the felid module in my brain, they are all correct—execpt that one claim seems deeply dubious. Can you guess which one? The narrator notes that the clouded leopard “makes […]

A bizarre blood-sucking Jurassic maggot

by Matthew Cobb Just out in eLife, an Open Access journal that aims to rival Science and Nature, is this fantastic fossil of an aquatic fly larva from the Chinese mid-Jurassic (around 165 MY ago), published by Chen et al. Soft-bodied animals rarely fossilise well, but the Chinese fossil-hunters have been able to find three […]

Nobody won the football contest

Well, nobody even guessed the outcomes of all of today’s games, much less the scores.  One of the big problems was that hardly anyone predicteed that Costa Rica would tie with England. But even those who did foundered on the Greece/Ivory Coast prediction, with those who got the tie correct also predicting a loss for Greece. So, for the […]

Evolution bananas this time!

Remember the creationist outside the Evolution meetings who handed out bananas with Bible verses on them yesterday? My ex-student Mohamed Noor (president of the Society), decided to respond by making evolution bananas, which were placed in the fruit bowl at the meetings. The Society issued an official tw**t: Those of you who have studied evolution will recognize the […]

Aliens abduct the world’s smartest creature

Hint: it isn’t Homo sapiens: h/t: Mark

More animal play? Pitbull and deer.

by Matthew Cobb This video appeared on the FB page of my other Aunty Janet, and was linked to this page.  I’m posting the video because of the behaviour, and despite the presence of a canid. The d*g is called Zeke, and was recently rescued. His owners  said he is ‘a love bug’ and ‘a […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

A reader e-introduced me to her friend Sherry Chadwell, who learned about the wildlife photos here and decided to send me some photos of a Steller’s Jay  (Cyanocitta stelleri) nesting on Chadwell’s fence in southern Oregon. Here’s the story: We have a Steller’s jay nest behind one of the shovels hanging on a back fence. I’m flabbergasted that the jays would […]

Regrets, I’ve had a few…

by Matthew Cobb My PhD (Sheffield, 1984), was a study of fruitflies f***ing. Put less crudely, I observed the courtship and mating behaviour of seven closely-related species of Drosophila (technically, they aren’t in fact fruitflies – ‘vinegar fly’ is a much better and accurate term; two other species in this group have since been discovered). This is the […]

Do not enter World Cup contest!

The contest deadline for guessing the participants in (and score of) the final World Cup match ended on Monday at 5 pm, yet I continue to receive entries. These bespeak an ignorance of the Roolz and are are also unfair, since we now have new information about the finals (e.g., Spain won’t be in them). Please DO not […]

Science pub quiz questions wanted

by  Matthew Cobb A science journalist friend of mine is getting married this summer. She sent me this mail, which I thought I’d pass on to you: I’m writing a little science-themed pub quiz – a friendly bit of entertainment for my wedding this August. Could you suggest any nice multiple choice science questions for […]


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